Customer Voice: Meet Austin Energy

By Neil Grasso

July 16, 2021 | min

Delighting Our Customers

Here at Nutanix, we strive to delight customers with a simple, flexible, and cost-efficient cloud platform to help them accelerate their businesses. At the same time, we look to give our customers a valuable benefit that may be more important than any technical advantage we can offer - giving back their time. 

We have chatted with hundreds of CIOs, CTOs, IT/OT Directors, and system administrators over the years. We began to notice a trend from these conversations that was emblematic of the culture of the greater IT/OT space. More often than not, our customers used to find themselves talking about the days they had to spend extra hours in the office, either resolving issues or managing mundane tasks related to their environments. 

At Nutanix, we have grown to prioritize these challenges right alongside with the technical obstacles that our customers may face. Unnecessary time spent in the office is time spent away from friends, family, hobbies, and exciting new projects. By implementing products from the Nutanix® portfolio, their teams are able to introduce a new level of efficiency that saves them time, money, and energy. 

When we brought in our first Compellent system and our HP stuff and everything else, it took us at least two weeks to get it running. When we got our first Nutanix system, we were able to set it up and run it within three days.

Andres Ibrarra

Meet Andres Ibarra & Gilbert Nguyen

Recently, we sat down with Andres Ibarra and Gilbert Nguyen of Austin Energy (AE) to learn more about their Nutanix journey. Austin Energy is the United States' seventh largest public utility provider. With a service area that exceeds 437 square miles, AE provides electrical power to over one million customers in the City of Austin and the surrounding areas.

Ibarra, an Advanced Technology Program Manager at AE, quickly realized the efficiency capabilities of the Nutanix platform shortly after implementation. 

Andres Ibrarra: “When we brought in our first Compellent system and our HP stuff and everything else, it took us at least two weeks to get it running. When we got our first Nutanix system, we were able to set it up and run it within three days.”

Nguyen, a SCADA/EMS Senior Analyst, had a similar experience.

Gilbert Nguyen: “After I installed the hardware, Freeit (a Nutanix partner) came out and helped us set up the foundation. This was all within two days. One day for me to do the installation, and a second day for them to help us with the software configuration - then we were up and running and creating VMs.

The ease and the quickness of setting that up was key. Setting up hardware infrastructure can take weeks, so that was one of the things we were able to take advantage of.”

Has your journey with Nutanix allowed you to spend more time with family or friends, given you your weekends back, or prevented you from getting calls related to IT issues after work hours?

Nguyen: “I can speak to that. The fact that I can do one-click upgrades of the cluster allows me to download the patch file, upload it to the cluster, and it just upgrades by itself, 15 nodes. I can go do whatever else and check back every couple of hours. If I had to do a bunch of individual servers, that would be a lot more time dedicated to it rather than set it and forget it.”

If you could describe your journey with Nutanix in one word, what would it be and why? 

Nguyen: “I would say easy. Whenever I need to build something, it’s so much easier than a physical server. I just spin a VM, throw it on a network, and not have to go ask Andy for a server. I don’t wait for things to arrive and be installed. With VMs, it’s just so simple to create a network, create a VM, spin it up, throw an operating system on it and do whatever I’m doing. It lets me get on with my day. The interface is very easy to use. Other interfaces had me wandering around just to change a single setting, which was very frustrating. I generally don’t have that issue with Nutanix.” 

Ibarra:“I think I would add stability. I don’t have to worry at night about it. I know it’s going to email me, or tell me in the morning when I wake up, or use another resource to notify me when my attention is needed.”

We at Nutanix love to hear comments like "it's just so simple" and "it lets me get on with my day" and "I don't have to worry at night" from knowledgeable, experienced customers like Andres and Gilbert. 

Our goal is to deliver increased levels of efficiency through our products and services and is only satisfied once our customers see improvements in both their environments AND personal lives. The latter portion is key, because in the end, the Nutanix journey is equal parts technical and human - if the product is saving our customers time, resources, and energy that can be used elsewhere, it’s a sign that we’ve done our part.